Situated in the valley of Sunday Creek, the Burr Oak area was inhabited by Indians and, later, by settlers who found an abundance of game animals and the resources necessary for survival in the Ohio wilderness.
Coal, one of Ohio's most important mineral resources, was mined here for many years. As mining operations expanded, mining towns grew and prospered. Few of these mining towns were as notorious as the village of San Toy.
Many colorful tales were told of life in San Toy. In the true spirit of frontier life, so the story goes, a gunfight was once held over a $20 debt. The street was cleared as the two participants met for a showdown. The ensuing battle left both men lying in the street--one dead and the other critically wounded. The "Old West" came to life in Ohio when the coal company payroll was robbed by bandits who made a horse-mounted getaway through the town.
Countless other tales live on, but San Toy could not. A fire in 1924 destroyed the coal tipple and several businesses. The loss was so devastating that just three years later the second mine shaft shut down. In November 1931, the nineteen remaining voters decided to abandon the town. Today, only the church, the town's first building, still stands as a reminder of days gone by.
In 1950 Burr Oak Lake was built across the valley of the east branch of Sunday Creek, a tributary of the Hocking River. The dam is about three miles north of Glouster on S. R. 13, in Trimble Township of Athens County. From the dam, the lake extends southward for about 1 1/2 miles, where it crosses into Homer Township of Morgan County. It then stretches northward for about four miles into Union Township of Morgan County. Burr Oak Lake was built as a multiple-use reservoir for flood control, water supply, and recreation. The Lake was a cooperative venture. The Department of Natural Resources purchased the land, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam and control gates. Two years later ,Burr Oak was dedicated as a state park.
123 campsites are available at Burr Oak
17 electric sites
106 non-electric sites
77 in main campgrounds
10 at equestrian group camping area
11 primitive sites at Dock #2 (restrooms are provided)
8 primitive sites at Dock #3
Showers, flush toilets and a dump station are available in the main campground
Pets (limit of 2) are permitted on designated sites.
Horseshoe court and playground equipment
Camp office loans games and sporting equipment to registered campers.
664-acre Burr Oak Lake allows boating as follows:
Boats with motors of 10HP or less are permitted to operate as usual.
Boats with motors exceeding a horsepower rating of 10HP are permitted to operate at idle speed or at a speed that does not create a wake.
Jet drive boats are not permitted.
Four launch ramps provide access to the lake.
An 18-hole course is found at the park. Equipment rental is not available. No fee is charged to play.
The lake is well known for its catches of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. A valid Ohio fishing license is required.
Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and in the adjacent Wayne National Forest and wildlife areas. A valid Ohio hunting license is required.
Picnic areas are located in scenic areas of the park and offer tables and grills.
One shelterhouse with electrical outlets may be reserved online or by calling (866) 644-6727.
One shelterhouse managed by US Army Corps of Engineers is located near the dam, no reservations required.
A 500-foot public swimming beach offers enjoyment for swimmers and sunbathers. Restrooms and outdoor showers are available. The beach also offers sand volleyball courts. Swimming is permitted in designated areas. Please exercise caution while swimming at the beach. Pets are not permitted on swimming beaches. The beach is carry in/carry out. No trash cans are provided.
Below trails comprise the "Lakeview" Trail
Ravine Trail - 6.9 Miles - Easy/Moderate
Lakeview Trail (includes South Shore Trail) - 5.8 Miles - Moderate/Difficult
Lake Shore Trail (includes Camp and part of Red Multi-use Trails) - 11.8 Miles- Moderate/Difficult
Tanager Trail - 0.4 Mile - Moderate
Campground Trail - 1 Mile - Easy
Buckeye Loop - 1.7 Miles - Moderate
Red Fox - 0.7 Mile - Easy
Chipmunk - 0.4 Mile - Easy
The backpacking trail is a combination of all or part of the Ravine, Lake Shore, Lakeview, Red and Camp Trails, and winds around the lake shore, offering primitive campsites and drinking water at several locations along the route. 12.8 miles of the 18-mile backpack trail are part of the Buckeye Trail. Parking and the trailhead are located on the lodge/state park office entrance road. Camping is available in the family campground, at Dock #2 and at Dock #3. Registration and payment of the regular camping fee are required.
Red/Camp/Red Trail - 5.2 Miles - Moderate
Blue Trail - 1.8 Miles - Moderate
Under the proper conditions, park visitors can enjoy sledding, ice skating, and ice fishing.